Visit Dates: 2014-15
Catholic University of Croatia
- Anthropology of Religion
- Historical anthropology
Luka Šešo researches traditional beliefs and popular religion in Croatia and Central Europe analyzing relations between real and unreal in individual and collective discourses as well as stereotypes in witchcraft accusations. He broadens his interests by concentrating on modern historical and anthropological approaches and by creating documentary films which he sees as a medium for popularization of ethnological, anthropological and historical topics. In the past two years, he is engaged in research of contemporary concepts of identity in which he seeks to explore relations between profane/global and religious/individual values. In his work, he uses methodologies of ethnology, cultural anthropology, anthropology of religion, folklore research, historiography and sociology. Luka Šešo was a visiting scholar at the Nanovic Institute during the 2014-15 academic year.
There are several aspects of my stay at the Nanovic Institute that I want to specially emphasize. Firstly, I want to underline that I managed to locate books and other sources that offer theoretical and empirical treatment of modern occurrences of beliefs in mythical and supernatural, the position of culture in the modern world, syncretism and globalization. This chief objective I achieved with a help of professional staff of the Nanovic Institute and exceptional Hesburgh Libraries. New material helped me to supplement and complete my book dealing with position of beliefs in supernatural beings in modern society. Furthermore, new methodologies, theories and academic insights, which I gained during this one-month stay, are already becoming part of my work, which, I hope, will contribute to a better understanding of religion in modern central European society. Secondly, during my stay I had an opportunity to meet Notre Dame scholars such as Maurizio Albahari (Department of Anthropology) and Kevin J. Christiano (Department of Sociology). The exchanging of books, knowledge, various opinions and insights has improved my research approaches not only in cultural anthropology and sociology, but even more in European studies and culture in general. The third aspect of my stay at the Nanovic Institute that was the opportunity to travel to Colorado and Arizona where I visited Native American reservations and historical sites such as Mesa Verde. Information I gathered during this trip are of great importance for my future lectures and seminars for students. Finally I must underline the opportunity to familiarize myself with the organization of higher education in USA, especially at the University of Notre Dame. This is very important for my university which is very young and which seeks role models for its development. Experience I gained during my stay will help me to implement new values into my lectures, and organization at my University. I must state that much of my experience I owe to Professor McAdams and his team. They made great effort to make my stay at the Nanovic Institute valuable and rich.